More evidence that God uses a mac

I’ve discovered an even better method of using my iPad as a preacher, and surely further proof that there will be no Windows in heaven. One of those serendipitous discoveries when searching for something else … I think it might help others too. Now I imagine there might be ways for the recalcitrant to do this from a PC, but I wouldn’t know. Another reason to repent of your Windows allegiance .. (but I digress .. )

I discovered that Pages ((current) ’09 mac desktop version – not the iPad version) can export to the .epub book reader format, which is the ebook format recognised by iBooks (and also some other book readers). If you then load that file into “Books” in iTunes, and sync your iPad, you then have your sermon notes as an eBook rather than a PDF. So that means you’ll find it in the ‘books’ section of iBooks on your iPad, rather than the ‘PDF’ section.

That’s where the beauty starts 🙂 You have much more reader interface power at your disposal than with a PDF:
• You can increase or decrease the font size right on the device with a few finger taps (so no more bothering about font size, page size and margin size in your desktop word processor), and
• You’ll notice that swapping the iPad between landscape and portrait orientation also has the effect of offering you the choice of a single page / whole screen view, or a paperback-novel-type view with two small pages side-by-side – and the illusion of flipping real pages in a real book as you read.

The latter feature means, in theory at least, easier adaptation from paper notes to electronic – irrespective of whether your brain is used to speaking from full A4 single-side notes or from something like an A5 ring binder or display book printed double-side. My 30-year pattern has been the latter, so having made this discovery I’m now using landscape mode and it almost feels like I’m using my familiar binder 🙂

What you can’t, of course, do with this method is annotate your notes on the iPad. So if doing that is important for the way you work, then I guess you’d be wiser sticking with PDF and something like GoodReader. But if it works for you to do all your annotating, highlighting etc on your desktop before syncing – then I think this method would be hard to beat. It would mean buying Pages for your mac if you don’t already have it, but you don’t need to spend a cent on any iPad apps.

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Blogging is good for your soul

The title of this post just came to me after reading a very helpful blog post by John Piper on why pastors should blog. This in turn caught my attention as I was continuing to chew over the impact on me of an address, also by John Piper, which was really his personal story. I listened to a podcast of this while driving last Saturday.

Some of what struck me in that talk:

• his passion to write since very young, including poetry
• writing came from his father who wrote poetry
• he sees preaching and poetry as nearly the same activity
• he speaks from a full text always
• inspired by Jonathan Edwards’ goal: to capture the affections of hearers with the truth
• scholarly mind, yet reads very slowly

Why did all that strike me? … He could be describing me! In company with many many others, I’ve been a fan of Piper for many years – especially as a preacher. I had wondered why I warmed to his communication so much. I think I now know why.

So my latest resolution – which stands either to be honoured or broken – is to blog much more often on a much wider range of themes. Writing has energised me for a long time. Let’s now see if I follow through …

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